Different categories of registered taxpayers are required to file different types of returns under Goods and Service Tax (GST). Provisions relating to regular GST return filings is contained under section 39 of the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017. Whereas, provisions relating to annual return filing is contained under section 44 and provisions relating to the final GST return is contained under section 45 of the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017.
As we know, Goods and Service Tax (GST) was introduced on 1st July 2017 and has already completed more than two years. It is obligatory for each and every registered person to file their respective GST return on time. However, even though mandatory, it is noticed that various registered person defaults in timely filing of their GST return.
Currently, divergent practice is being followed by the departmental authorities against the registered person who defaults in filing their GST return. In order to regularize the return filing compliance under GST and also the take uniform action against the defaulters, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has come up with circular no. 129/48/2019 – GST dated 24th December 2019.
Vide the said circular, the Board has issued Standard Operating Procedure (i.e. SOP) to be followed by the departmental officer against non-filers of the GST returns. The entire SOP is explained in the current article.
Standard Operating Procedure to be adopted by the department –
- Action before the due date of return filing –
All the GST registered person would receive a system generated message three days prior to the due date of filing of GST return.
- Action after the due date of return filing –
No further action is required in all the cases, wherein, the return is filed within the due date.
However, if the registered person fails to furnish the GST return within the prescribed due date, he would receive a system generated message or mail intimating the default. Such system generated message / mail would be sent to the authorized signatory as well as to the proprietor/ partner/ Karta/ director etc.
- Issuance of notice in Form GSTR-3A –
In case the default of non-filing of return continues, after five days of completion of the due date, the defaulter (i.e. non-filer) would receive notice in Form GSTR-3A. Such notice shall be issued, electronically, against the registered person who fails to furnish GST return as required under section 39.
The notice is Form GSTR-3A requires the non-filer to file the return within fifteen days.
- Best Judgement Assessment –
In case, even after receiving the notice in Form GSTR-3A, the defaulter has not filed required GST return within fifteen days, then, the proper officer may assess the tax liability of such defaulter. As per provisions of section 62, the proper officer would calculate tax liability based on the best judgement assessment.
The proper officer will assess the tax liability based on details like –
- Details of outward supplies furnished in Form GSTR-1.
- Details of supply auto-populated in Form GSTR-2A.
- Information/ details available from E-way bills or from any other source.
Based on the best judgement assessment, the proper officer would issue an order in Form GST ASMT-13.
- Situation, if the return is furnished after issuance of order –
If the defaulter, furnishes the required returns within the period of 30 days of the service of the order in Form GST ASMT-13, then, such order shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.
- Consequence if the return is not furnished even after issuance of an order –
Even after 30 days of service of the order in Form GST ASMT-13, the defaulter fails to furnish the requisite return, then, the proper officer can take the following actions –
a.Initiate recovery proceedings –
The proper officer, on the basis of non-filing of return, initiate proceeding under section 78 and section 79 of the Central Goods and Service Tax Act.
b. Provisional attachment –
In some cases, based on the facts, the commissioner may also resort to provisional assessment in order to protect the revenue. However, such provisional assessment is possible before issuance of an order in Form GST ASMT-13.
c. Cancel GST registration –
For returns not furnished for the period specified under section 29, the proper officer can initiate action for cancellation of GST registration.